Windsor students gearing up to attend national virtual prom

With proms cancelled across Canada, an online resource for kids called the Student Life Network has organized a national virtual prom.

Students across Canada to take part in online prom streaming May 22

The Student Life Network is putting together an online virtual prom for students across Canada. (Student Life Network)

Windsor high school student Mira Gillis says she was disappointed at first when her prom was cancelled. 

The Grade 12 student attends F.J. Brennan Catholic High School and serves as the school's student prime minister.

"It's like it's a special night that you don't really have anywhere else ... kind of a final hurrah," she said. 

Thanks to an online marketing agency that caters to teens, however, Gillis, as well as high school students across the county still have a chance to attend a prom of sorts. 

Mira Gillis is a Grade 12 student at F.J. Brennan High School and one of the student leaders involved in the #PromIsOn2020 virtual prom this May. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

The Student Life Network has put together a virtual prom set to stream live as one-hour show on May 22. It'll feature Juno Award-winning DJ duo Loud Luxury, as well as prizes and giveaways.

The network has put together a website called #PromIsOn2020. It features a section where students can upload TikTok videos of themselves dancing in their prom attire, called the Prom Wave Challenge.

There's even a spot to upload promposals, as well as another spot to RSVP for the May 22 show. 

For every student that uploads a TikTok video, promposals on Instagram or joins #PromIsOn2020 live on May 22, a donation will be made to Kids Help Phone, courtesy of CIBC.

Laura DaSilva is a spokesperson for the Student Life Network. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

"We thought maybe a few responses will trickle in, but we actually got hundreds of applications almost immediately," said network spokesperson Laura DaSilva, who added that more celebrities are being lined up for the show.

"I'm working on some really exciting shout outs from some Canadian role models and we're going to announce them soon," said DaSilva. "The leader of our country may be involved."

DaSilva said CIBC has pledged to help the Kids Help Phone charity — which offers call-in and online counselling and support to youth across Canada — with $100,000.

Gillis is one of 35 high school students from across the country acting as a member of the virtual prom's organizing committee helping promote the event.

Natalie Haas, a Grade 12 student at F. J. Brennan Catholic High School, says she was skeptical at first about the Student Life Network's virtual prom. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

"At the end of the day, I'm just really happy that Student Life Network was able to come up with this idea, and that even though it may not be in person, I still get to enjoy my prom," she said. 

Her friend Natalie Haas is also in Grade 12 at F. J. Brennan Catholic High School.

"It was a little weird at first because I was like, 'Oh, virtual prom,' this is not going to be the same," Haas said. "But then I realized what it was for."

"It gives Canadian students the opportunity to come together and just celebrate something in a different unique way. How many times are you going to be able to say you went to a virtual prom?"

The show will be livestreamed on YouTube. Both Haas and Gillis plan to dress up in prom dresses and video chat with their friends during the event.



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